Danny McCance 8 Jan 2019 10:09am

UK financial services shift £800bn to Europe

Since the EU referendum, UK financial services have transferred assets worth at least £800bn out of the UK in to Europe

In addition, more than a third (36%) of UK financial services firms have said they are considering or have confirmed that they are relocating some operations and staff from the UK to Europe.

EY’s quarterly Brexit tracker surveyed 20 financial services businesses and tracked their public transfer announcements.

The number of firms confirming or publicly announcing their intent to move has increased from 68 out of 222 over the last 12 months to 80 as of November 2018.

This proportion is higher among universal and investment banks, wealth and asset managers and the insurance sector, where 68 out of 143 firms (48%) confirmed or stated their intentions to move, said EY.

“As things stand, and per regulatory expectations, financial services firms have no choice but to continue preparing on the basis of a ‘no deal’ scenario,” said Omar Ali, UK financial services leader at EY.

“The City is further ahead in implementing its Brexit contingency plans than many other sectors and our numbers only reflect the moves that have been announced publicly.”

The tracker suggests that 7,000 jobs could relocate to Europe in the near future, down on previous estimates due to some firms “fine tuning” their estimates, while 2,000 new European roles have been, or will be, hired locally since the referendum.

“The closer we get to 29 March without a deal, the more assets will be transferred and headcount hired locally or relocated,” Ali said.

Of the 80 who have announced their intentions, 67 have confirmed at least one location – an aggregate of 30%, up from 25% in the last quarter.

Dublin is set to benefit most from the transfer of staff and operations, as 27 firms have now confirmed they will move staff or operations to the Irish capital, up from 21 in October.

 Paris was in second place with 15 firms confirming a move, while Frankfurt and Luxembourg both gained two more companies stating their aim to relocate, taking their totals to 17 and 15 respectively.